There are three components to a strand of hair. The cuticle, or external layer, is most affected by personal wear and tear, such as blow-drying, hair dye, relaxers and other treatments. No matter the hair type, cuticles can always become damaged. However curly hair cuticles are two-times as thick as the cuticles on straight hair. The cortex, or middle layer, can also be worn out- especially if the hair has lost its flexibility. The center of the hair follicle is called the bulb, or follicle. The bulb influences the direction hair grows in. When the bulb is hook-shaped, the hair is curly. Round follicles produce straight hair and flat follicles generate curly hair. Who knew hair was so complex?
Hair texture controls the distribution of the scalp’s natural oils to the ends of each hair strand. Straight hair allows the oils to move naturally through to the hair ends; while wavy, curly and kinky hair types have curves that stop the oils from traveling downwards as quickly. This means, straight hair needs to be washed more frequently than other textures. So the grass isn’t always greener!
Experimenting with hair treatments will only transform the outer layer of your hair, not its natural structure. Thus the shape of your hair follicles or bulbs will keep your hair always growing back the same way. Which is another reason why it’s important to embrace your natural hair type, no matter how you decide to style, cut or shape it.